Catalpa bignonioides (Indian bean tree) is native to southeastern parts of the United States – the ‘Indian’ part of its name relates to the botanical name Catalpa, after the native American (Red Indian) tribe, Catawba.
Catalpa bignonioides grows into a large, domed tree up to 12m in height, though it typically reaches 6-8m over 50 years in Britain. Highly ornamental, it’s grown in the UK for its large, heart-shaped leaves, masses of white, horse chestnut-like flowers and long (up to 45cm) runner bean-like pods.
Grow Catalpa bignonioides in a sheltered spot in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. It’s perfect for growing as a focal point in a lawn or at the back of a mixed border, and it makes an excellent summer shade tree.
Advice on buying Catalpa bignonioides
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- Catalpa bignonioides may be available from your locak garden centre, but you’ll find a wider range online or from specialist nurseries
- Always check plants for signs of damage or disease before planting
Where to buy Catalpa bignonioides
How to grow Catalpa bignonioides
South facing, west facing
- Sun exposure: Dappled shade, full shade
- Hardiness: Frost hardy
- Soil type: Acidic / chalky / alkaline / clay / heavy / moist
Catalpa bignonioides and wildlife
Catalpa bignonioides is known for attracting bees.
Attractive to Bees
Does not attract Beneficial insects
Does not attract Birds
Does not attract Butterflies/Moths
Does not attract Other pollinators
Is Catalpa bignonioides poisonous?
Catalpa bignonioides has no toxic effects reported.
No reported toxicity to Birds
No reported toxicity to Cats
No reported toxicity to Dogs
No reported toxicity to Horses
No reported toxicity to Livestock
No reported toxicity to People